Fear and Loathing in America
Note: this post is broken into two sections, 'fear' the background information, and 'loathing' the problem manifesting itself in this country. It should be considered a draft only, as I plan to refine it in the future and add it to one of my upcoming books. Please read accordingly.
I have often written about the ignorance and dishonesty in the doctrines of Christianity. One can quickly determine that there is a direct link between human knowledge, the mysteries of the universe, and religion.
When very little was understood about the natural world, there were gods for virtually every phenomena -- gods for thunder, lightning, wind, seas, weather, fertility, well you get the idea. Those gods eventually began to disappear or be gathered together into more monotheistic gods. As the mysteries dwindled, religion began to focus on the one core mystery, the one religion originated with and was founded upon; death.
Today, we actually do undrstand death -- because we understand life. Life is a complex chemical process, that when it ceases, that final state is death. All the thoughts, feelings, awareness that makes up a human is the byproduct of the electrochemical processes in the brain and nervous system. But to the religious, life/death is more than that; they maintain the existence of a 'soul' some essence of a human that transcends the material world, somehow mirroring or superceeding the biological processes of thought and awareness. Since no theologian, let alone Christian apologist, can adequately define this 'soul', I will make no theological pronouncements on it. I will say the only component of it shown to be real, is the physical biological processes.
The mystery of death is therefore transformed into the soul and its eternal (non-material) nature. If it is eternal,they postulate, then there must be an afterlife. This being the domain of God. From there they further the postulate to include not just one, but two (or more) 'areas' of the afterlife, one --good-- controlled by God, one --evil-- controlled by Satan.
Christianity is an exercize in self-delusion. If you ask any Christian, they will tell you they believe in eternal life. But if you tell them that they really do not believe in eternal life, they are left sputtering. Exposing this delusion is crucial to gaining a real perspective on the other problems of the Christian religion.
It is straightforward to prove this as well. Let us list the points of truth, to which most Christians agrees.
1. The afterlife is supposed to be a better place, one highly desirable; free from pain and sorrow, full of love and bliss, and fully in the presence of the goodness and glory of God.
2. The material world, the one we all live in, is only temporary (for a Christian: a place to test one's faith and devotion to God and Jesus Christ).
3. The material world is loathsome, full of sin, suffering, death and temptation.
4. The existence of death is the reason for fear.
5. Human knowledge has progressed to the point now where many diseases can be cured, food can be produced to feed larger populations, the elements can be somewhat controlled (drought, floods, hurricanes, tornados, heat and cold), threats from animal predators, and entertainment to keep the human mind happy. Life expectancy has increased along with the likelihood of surviving to that expectancy.
6. Christians are taught from youth to look forward to their reward in heaven (the Christian afterlife)
7.The New Testament has many teachings about living in this world and entrance into the next.
8.The New Testament teaches a longing for the next world, heaven, and the bountiful treasure therein.
9.The apostle Paul teaches of the miracles Christians are able to perform, the laying on of hands to cure the sick being one of them.
10.Human knowledge is inferior to God's knowledge and should be shunned
Then there are the logical statements one can make and the facts and assumptions to back them up:
1.Death is the big mystery of humanity, one that is solved in Christianity via the promise of an eternal afterlife.
2.In heaven, imperfect humans are made perfect in the sight of God, as is necessary to be in God's presence.
3.As the afterlife is therefore a major improvement over this materialistic life, it is something desirable and strived for. Also it is something to be shared (the reason for evangelism...)
Here is where we run into our logical problem though, if Christians believed all that to be really true, then they would not manage their lives as they do. The way they live their lives is more explainable through the fact that death is the end of life. Period.
Consider the facts. Why would a person who believes that there actually is an eternal afterlife, and one infinitely better than this life, strive so hard to preserve this life? Consider the human knowledge of medicine, diet, engineering, social behavior; all are according to the bible worthless, yet all Christians (even the Amish) embrace them and fight for them in their daily lives. Doctors should be the anti-Christs spoken of by Paul, as they profess to cure humans with human knowledge and expertise. Those things are expressly prohibited in the bible. See: 1 Timothy 6:20 "O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge". The same goes for using engineering and science knowledge to build better homes, crops, and methods of delivering goods to where people live. All this is human knowledge, and without it, society would wither and die. But God told his people that all that was false knowledge.
Christians are supposed to bend to the will of the Father. If he refuses to heal the sick through the miracle of laying on of hands, then that person is supposed to die, or suffer through life. Medicine takes the place of God, curing the sick, healing pain and making life less sufferable. A bible-believing, God-fearing Christian should trust in God, not doctors. But what do we see? Hospitals and waiting rooms full of Christians! These Christians do not trust in God, they trust in humans, doctors. They are not willing to suffer and die, they desire to live and be healthy. If there truly was a glorious afterlife, this action would be preposterous.
Second, if a family member was ill, on the verge of death, those loving Christians by putting them in the hospital, and preventing their immediate entrance into heaven are being downright cruel. How can a Christian say to their dying grandmother, “I know your heart stopped beating, and you were on the path to eternal bliss in heaven, but I could not suffer your loss, so I decided to prevent your bliss, and bring you back to this corrupt and ugly world in which we live.” Is that love? It is pure selfishness. No real Christian would ever do or say such things, unless they knew in their hearts that there was no afterlife.
Life and death, and more importantly fear of death, are the realities of materialistic creatures. Being as humans are purely materialistic, they suffer from those realities. It is the fear that gives rise to religion. But it is death that proves no afterlife exists, at least in terms of the biblical god. For there is nothing in the bible that suggests this life is worth living, other than for its longing for the afterlife, and there is everything to gain by entering the next life, heaven. So what we witness, when it comes to Christians, is that they profess something on their tongues (Christianity and heaven) but their actions speak to their hearts (death is final). The moment a Christian sends their child to a doctor, or their parent to the hospital, they are disrupting the life that God set out for that person, and depriving them of the illness or disease that will send them to eternal bliss in heaven, so that they can continue to suffer the miserey of life on earth as explained in the bible. The first time laying on hands is shunned for human knowledge in healing, the facade of god-belief evaporates. Any protest of this truth is but a lie.
For a Christian, “Suffer unto Jesus” is a line to be spoken on Sunday or Wednesday, but not to be practiced. It also is proof, that not even Christians truly believe in an afterlife.
Fearing death is the fatal bogeyman to atheist and theist alike. How that fear is dealt with is the sole distinguishing point -- atheists strive to make the best of this life, Christians focus on convincing themselves of an afterlife, while striving to hold onto this life.